Cartagena, north coast / SG
Colombia, 2013

I have always wanted to visit South America and after speaking to my Colombian friend, she suggested that as a solo traveler and first time visitor to Colombia, that Cartagena would be best. Plenty of tourist, beaches, security, and easy to navigate.

Upon arrival I was granted a 30 day tourist visa which I later extended to 90 days. The only reason that I returned to the United States, was to celebrate Christmas with my family in New York. Otherwise, I could very well still be there.


Private room and shower in Marbella, about a 15 minute walk along the coast to the "Walled City." My hosts were an English speaking married couple which I found on Airbnb.

"Walled City" (street crafts, gifts, food, architecture), Playa Blanca (Island, 30 minute boat ride), Boca Grande (casinos, beach, and high end shopping), Castillo San Felipe de Barajas (fortress), Plaza Trinidad (street performers, graffiti, backpackers, cheap food).

Food and Drink:
Mostly ate street food such as chorizo, chicken, rice, plantains, empanadas, and arepas. For breakfast I would eat cereal, fruit, and yogurt. My favorite was Avena, which was a sweet, hot, oatmeal or rice drink, could be incorrect with the name. Loved the little coffees called "Tinto" which can be bought anywhere you walk from street vendors. As for alchohol, I drank Águila and Costeñita mostly.

Moto taxi (motorcycle), taxi, buses. I preferred moto taxi during the day and taxi at night, only because most moto taxis were more difficult to find after 9pm.

Overall Safety:
Entirely safe within the "Walled City," Boca Grande, and Plaza Trinidad. Can get a bit sketchy the later you go into the evening in the areas surrounding these places but you can walk in between these areas alone without any issue anytime before midnight. I would not suggest walking in isolated areas after midnight, Boca Grande being the exception or within the "Walled City."

Safety Tip:
The more Spanish that you know, the safer you will feel. If you go to the beach alone, look for a family, put your things near them and talk to them. They will watch your stuff if you decide to leave it unattended and go into the ocean. Lastly, if you are a solo traveler, you will be approached by people selling drugs, you will know who they are as they will be the only people who speak fluent English, simply say no thank you and be on your way.

Inside the walled city. / SG
Fútbol outside the walled city. / SG
The Torre del Reloj, or Clock Tower, was once the main gateway to the walled city. / SG
Handcrafted bags inside the walled city. / SG
Donde Fidel, inside the walled city. / SG
Getsemani. / SG
Plaza de la Trinidad en Getsemani. / SG
Playa Blanca. / SG
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